Drones are playing an increasingly important role in coordinating safety, and for this reason the Port of Antwerp carried out trials involving a ‘fixed-wing’ drone.
he drone can fly at high altitude and has a very powerful camera enables the craft to provide an unprecedented view of the entire port.
The unmanned aircraft was used to provide images of realistic incident scenarios. The trials are intended to provide an insight into the possibilities this type of drone can provide as a tool to assist the port authority and to make collaboration with the safety and security services more efficient.
The fixed-wing’ drone can fly around for more than eight hours and take pictures with a very powerful camera (30x zoom) from a height of 280 metres. This week, the Port of Antwerp tested out various use cases. The images recorded by the unmanned aircraft of four realistic emergency situations, will provide an insight into the possibilities of using unmanned aircraft of that sort within the port environment.
According to Port of Antwerp, the use of drones will play an increasingly important role in the port of the future and as a means of maintaining safety. Cooperation with innovative partners such as the aviation specialist Sabca will form a key part of this.
By carrying out these demonstrations in collaboration with Port of Antwerp, we are able to show that we can make various operations safer and more efficient by using unmanned aircraft for inspections, transporting goods and surveillance
says Thibauld Jongen, the CEO of Sabca.
In the future, Port of Antwerp intends to maximise the assistance provided to the Harbour Safety & Security (HSS) service and its safety partners through the use of drones. The types of tasks that can be performed include inspecting infrastructure, surveillance and monitoring, incident management, berth management and the detection of oil spills or floating waste.
Our goal is to put in place an operational network of drones by 2022 in order to provide a ‘live feed’ of the various port activities. As a tool, this will enhance the work carried out by the entire port community. That will enable us to have a more accurate sense of what is going on within the port and as we work towards the achievement of a safe, efficient and smart port – the port of the future
Bob Spanoghe from Port of Antwerp, explains.